I keep all my school papers on file. This is part of a report on "Ole Miss and the Civil War" from history class last year.
When the Civil War between the North and South began in America, many students at Ole Miss got involved. A campus group known as the University Greys are known for going off to fight the war. They made it far north, all the way to Gettysburg, but were beaten badly and all died.
From 1861 to 1865, the University of Mississippi was closed because the school was more worried about fighting the Civil War than going to class. Only four people enrolled the first year of fighting.
After the nearby Battle of Shiloh on April 6-7, 1862, wounded Confederate soldiers were brought to Oxford and Ole Miss, where a hospital was set up. Wounded soldiers were put up in the different buildings on campus.
The Magnetic Observatory was where they stored all the dead soldiers. It was called the "Dead House."
|"General Grant's forces
encamped at Oxford, Mississippi.
Click to enlarge
Also in 1862, General Grant and his troops from the North marched into Oxford. The wounded soldiers were evacuated from the university.
One of the professors persuaded the Union army from burning the buildings at Ole Miss because he said they could be used as a hospital for Yankee soldiers.
However, the Northerners did burn the business end of Oxford, including shops on the Square and the Courthouse. General Grant and his men left Oxford on Christmas Day of 1862.
The hospital at Ole Miss started again and lasted until the end of the war. Approximately 1,850 patients stayed at Ole Miss, and about 700 of them died.
These men were buried in a cemetery on the campus, near the C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum today. The markers were destroyed some years back, and there is no way of identifying who is resting in this graveyard.